The Eagles will take on the Bombers in a Friday night game that has renewed anticipation after both teams performed well last week. They clash from Optus Stadium at 8:40pm and as always we’ve got you covered with a full preview and betting tips below.
Remember to go to our AFL Tips page for the content of each game in Round 15 this weekend.
West Coast vs Essendon Betting Tips
Optus Stadium, Friday June 24, 20:40 (AEST)
Injuries: Oscar Allen, Campbell Chesser, Tom Cole, Hugh Dixon, Luke Edwards, Tom Joyce, Zac Langdon, Jeremy McGovern, Nic Naitanui (low)
Make no mistake, the Eagles are still without many of their key players, including Jeremy McGovern and Nic Naitanui, but in recent weeks they have begun to resemble the team that held the premiership just a few years ago. Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo, Jack Petruccelle and Willie Rioli returned to the team last week and should continue to make more of an impact as their fitness builds.
The Eagles were competitive in their Round 14 clash against the Cats, trailing by just 18 points and even holding a slight lead at times in the third quarter. Andrew Gaff was the standout player with 27 touches, while Josh Kennedy looked ominous with two goals on four scoring shots.
Injuries: Nic Cox, Michael Hurley, Andrew McGrath, Devon Smith, James Stewart (Out) Darcy Parish, Zach Reid (Test)
The Bombers should get star midfielder Darcy Parish back this week, but it will likely be a direct trade for Andrew McGrath, who is coming off the side with an adductor injury.
The Bombers were fantastic against the Saints over the weekend, snapping a four-game losing streak to easily put out their best performance of the season. They started with a five-goal lead just before halftime, and despite a huge comeback from the Saints in the third quarter, the Bombers were able to hold their own and kick once again.
Peter Wright dominated in the win, but his strong performances have been too rare this season for the Bombers. If he can continue to be the lynchpin of Essendon in the future, his shapeshifting could be permanent.
I really like the Eagles at the 14.5-point line here. The Bombers will have felt like they played their Grand Final against the Saints at Marvel last week and now they have to get on a plane for a massive trip to Perth. Rather, the Eagles appear to be building a victory-defining season like the one the Bombers had last week.
At Optus Stadium, I think the Eagles can definitely keep this close or even win outright.
West Coast +14.5
$2.00 (1.5 Units)
I like to challenge Josh Kennedy and Peter Wright to kick more than 2 goals each on Friday night. I think this will be a pretty fluid, high scoring game where both defenses will be tested by tall forwards. No Jeremy McGovern in the Eagles’ lineup and no James Stewart of the Bombers could see the two greats having a good night.
Kennedy and Wright 2+ goals each ($2.85 at Ladbrokes)
Andrew Gaff has been solid over the past three weeks, putting up discard numbers of 28, 30 and 27. The Bombers have allowed the sixth-most discards in the competition this season and the best opponent in their 13 games this season so far has he averaged 33.15.
Gaff Eliminations 30+ ($2.25 at Ladbrokes)